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Magistracy holds staff retreat on critical issues

Posted: Friday, January 15th, 2016. 10:16 a.m. CST

magistrates meetingBy Aaron Humes: All Magistrate’s Courts across Belize are closed today, Friday, by permit of the Chief Justice.

The reason is the start of a two-day retreat for Belize’s 17 Magistrates and their staff at the Biltmore Plaza hotel in Belize City.

Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith told us that the theme of the event is making the courts more “problem-solving” through the use of technology beginning in 2016.

Topics covered include plans for the Drug Treatment Court; introduction to coroner’s inquests which can be used to assign responsibility in cases of questionable death; using mediation to solve disputes legally; and the introduction of technology to digitally take witness testimony and record court trials and proceedings.

Support staff of the Magistracy will also participate and contribute.

According to the Chief Magistrate there is need for flexibility from the judicial system to best serve the interest of justice.

The retreat continues through Saturday.

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